By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives has disclosed that Nigerians who are held captive in Lebanon and prevented from leaving the country would return to Nigeria within this week.
Among those held captive in Lebanon is Ms. Temitope Ariwolo, a 31-year-old female Nigerian, who was abused by her employers in Lebanon.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolulope Sadipe, while addressing journalists at the end of a closed door meeting with the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Houssam Diab, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Sadipe restated that the Lebanese and the Nigerian community would always stand together to ensure that justice and respect for human lives are prioritised while the two countries would work together to bring modern day slavery to an end.
She also said that the House would use the opportunity to verify the allegation that a Lebanese is held in Ilorin on charges of human trafficking.
She said: ‘’You will be invited on the day Temitope arrive and you will see that this is not eye service and not just Temitope, that flight is bringing in ladies who want to come home and we will continue to bring home those who want to come home. The Lebanese government is promising us now that it will ensure our girls work in very humane circumstances.’
‘’We will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that our girls can go there legally to work and work in circumstances that are not dehumanising.’’
The lawmaker called on Nigerians to always report agents of human trafficking to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and monitor activities of those fueling human trafficking at the domestic level.
‘’Nigerians keep your eyes open for the sources at home that are fueling human trading. There are Nigerians that you and I need to monitor and ensure that the human trafficking source here in Nigeria is brought to an end. So we need to be our brother’s keepers. If you know any of those agents you need to go and report them to NAPTIP,’’ she added.
On his part, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said the ministry has always been willing and ready to work with the committee to protect and defend the interest of Nigerians in diaspora just as it has done in the case of Temitope and others.